Saturday, January 9, 2016

A New Tenet of Taxation Emerges (And a very good one!)

Don Boudreaux writes the Washington Post:

California State assemblywomen Cristina Garcia and Ling Ling Chang want to exempt feminine-hygiene products from taxation because, as explained by Ms. Chang, “[g]overnment is taxing women for something that is totally out of their control. Feminine hygiene is not a choice and should not be taxed” (“The ‘tampon tax’ explained,” Jan. 8).
Bloody right.  Yet if it is wrong for government to tax products that people have no choice but to use and activities that people have no choice but to pursue, it must exempt from taxation far more than just feminine-hygiene products.  In addition to exempting these products, government should exempt products such as housing, clothing, and food, and activities such as earning incomes, saving for rainy days and for retirement, and consumption.  After all, use of these products and pursuit of these activities are “not a choice.”
I like this tenet of taxation!
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
The above originally appeared at Cafe Hayek.

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